Monday, March 16, 1998

Rebecca Bragg

Friends attend vigil for slain woman

A young woman slain last week should be remembered first and foremost as a human being and not as a prostitute, participants at an emotional candlelight vigil said.

About 100 people stood in the cold last night to remember Donna Oglive, 24, found dead March 8 in a parking lot in the Jarvis-Carlton Sts. area.

The mother of a 2-year-old son, four month pregnant when she died, had as much right to feel safe in her job as any other worker, said Anastasia Kuzyk of the Sex Workers' alliance of Toronto.

"It's easy to pass judgement when people sit in the comfort of their own ignorance," she told those gathered for the memorial service at Allan Gardens.

Oglive had been planning to fly home to Vancouver to be with her son the day after she was found dead.

Winnie Cornish, mother of Darlene MacNeil, 35, a Parkdale prostitute found dead last October, came from Victoria to attend the service. The public would be more outraged by the murders if the victims had not been prostitutes, Cornish said. "It doesn't matter who you are or what you're doing," she told the mourners. "Nobody deserves this. Nobody."

At least 12 prostitutes have been killed in Toronto within the past four years -- eight within the last two years.

Police have said a serial killer may be responsible for the murders of MacNeil, as well as of prostitutes Virginia Lee Coote, 33, and Julieanne Middleton, 23. All three had been strangled and their bodies were dumped into Lake Ontario.

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Created: April 23, 1998
Last modified: April 23, 1998

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